TORONTO, Jan. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Board of Funeral Services (BOFS) today ordered an immediate suspension of the funeral establishment licences granted to Benisasia Funeral Home Inc., operating at 3263 Derry Road East, Mississauga, Ontario, and Benisasia Funeral Home Inc., Queen Street Chapel, operating at 1357 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario.
The decision of the BOFS means that the funeral homes may no longer provide funeral services effective immediately.
At the same time, the BOFS has issued a Notice of Proposal under the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act (2002) to permanently revoke the licences of the two funeral establishments.
The funeral establishments may appeal both the immediate suspension and the notice to revoke licences to the Licence Appeal Tribunal. The allegations prompting the suspension and notice to revoke the two funeral home licences can be disclosed to the public as part of the appeal process.
The BOFS actions come after a lengthy investigation into the operating practices of the two Benisasia funeral homes and the investigation is on-going.
"The BOFS take its role of protecting consumers very seriously and we are acting in the public interest today," said BOFS Registrar Doug Simpson.
The decision to suspend operations and revoke a licence of a funeral home is rare in an industry with an exemplary record of compliance. In 2011 and 2012, the BOFS reported more than a 93 percent compliance rate of inspected funeral establishments. Less than 2 percent were subject to any action for non-compliance.
The BOFS is also taking steps to ensure all funerals currently under contract with the Benisasia Funeral Homes will be honoured and managed by a team of qualified funeral directors.
"We know this is a very difficult time for families and loved ones. We will make every effort to ensure that there is no disruption to funeral services for the public."
The BOFS is appealing to members of the public that have a prepaid contract with the Benisasia Funeral Homes, or have cremated remains under the care of the Benisasia Funeral Homes to please contact the BOFS immediately at:
Toll Free: 1-800-387-4458
Ontario has 581 funeral establishments served by 2,775 funeral directors. The Board of Funeral Services was enacted by legislation and is the governing body that regulates the practices of funeral directors, funeral service establishments and related services to protect the interest of Ontario consumers.
SOURCE: Board of Funeral Services
For further information:
Doug Simpson, BOFS Registrar